MSP, Channel technologies, Content

Atera AI Seeks to Further Automate MSP Help Desks

Poke around the enterprise software market, and much of the discussion involves artificial intelligence, workflow automation and robotic process automation (RPA) that improves productivity, reduces business risk and strengthens security. Now, that conversation is beginning to spread across the MSP and SMB technology markets.

The latest example: Atera has updated its IT management and automation platform with AI-based capabilities. The result? The new Atera Plus system now automatically classifies, prioritizes and routes tickets with on-point categorization, the company announced today. MSPs, in turn, gain the ability to "automatically sort, filter and solve issues, all while saving MSPs and IT professionals time and reducing human error," Atera said in a prepared statement.

Atera CEO Perspectives

Gil Pekelman, CEO, Atera
Gil Pekelman, CEO, Atera

Atera CEO Gil Pekelman and I discussed the new software a couple of weeks ago -- ahead of today's announcement. Among the takeaways from the conversation:

  • Atera has been working on the AI technology for two years, and the results are patented.
  • The software also leverages natural language processing and various telemetry in the system.
  • The AI-based system automatically tags tickets created from manual queries, emails, customer portals and more, labeling them with relevant tags based on the issue that needs to be handled.
  • These AI capabilities also keep tickets organized and cataloged by using machine learning to read, analyze and describe the action required.
  • The system enables the configuration of automatic replies to common tickets with the correct answer, and automatically performing the necessary action via a script that solves the problem.
  • Atera claims it can "train" an algorithm and then create solutions that further automate processes for MSPs and their end-customers.
  • The new capability, available immediately, can fee up technician times by 30 percent, Atera claims based on early adopters of the capability.

Atera's cloud-based system spans RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) capabilities. But the company's secret sauce likely involves all the cloud-based data it has gathered while supporting roughly 8,000 customers across 90 countries. By applying AI to that data, Atera hopes to make MSPs far more productive.

MSP Software Automation: The Next Wave

Atera isn't alone in its quest to further automate MSPs. Indeed, established and emerging software companies are developing next-generation solutions that further automate or leapfrog traditional RMM, PSA (professional services automation), data protection and cybersecurity systems.

Some of the innovations will be on display at the IT Nation Connect 2021 conference in Orlando, Florida. During the event, ConnectWise may potentially preview and/or discuss its next-generation RMM plan. Also, watch for Liongard to potentially emphasize "unified visibility" for MSPs. Bonus: It's an extremely safe bet an RPA (robotic process automation) company will emerge from stealth mode at IT Nation to engage MSPs.

Elsewhere, multiple cloud-based RMM and PSA software companies continue to ramp up in the market. Names to know include Syncro and, among others.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.